Prospero’s Books 1991
Director: Peter Greenaway Cinematographer: Sacha Vierny
John Gielgud, Michael Clark, Isabelle Pasco
A magician’s spell, the innocence of young love and a dream of revenge unite to create a tempest
One of the most artistic, spectacular, creative films I have ever seen. Greenaway is challenging in his easiest films, but this exceeds everything. Long, luxurious shots filled with things to see. Creative use of narration. Prospero speaks all the roles, overtop the other actors voices simultaneously.
Ariel is three separate people of different ages. Caliban looks terrifying and sympathetic. The English gentlemen look outrageously pompous. Everything fits perfectly. The film does the play proud.
There is part of me that wants to describe the film minutely, but I want you to see it with fresh eyes. Hopefully the stills from the film entice you to find it.
As far as influencing me, I have scenes burned into my brain. I allow a touch here and a dribble there to eek out and color an image. I have incorporated compositions in various panels in my comics. It’s always there, gleefully awaiting me to tap into it. The visuals certainly influence me, and the creativity more so. The way Greenaway manipulates the story with such audacity is brilliant. It always adds, never detracts, which is amazing given how over the top the spectacle is.
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